The first step in the decline of any advanced civilization (I’m making this up) is the waning of propriety. Get yourself a helmet and some elbow pads because it’s a dangerously slippery slope from bad manners to a defunct government and rioting in the streets.
Twice in the last couple weeks have I come across a situation that withdrew from my lips the comment, “Now, that’s just poor taste.”
First, I was driving past a local quarry when I noticed a small band of unionized carpenters carry large placards that said simply, “On Strike.” Now, I have no idea what disputes lay between these skilled craftsmen and their employers, but in the moment I thought to myself, What’s unemployment, like, 9%? How many people in this small city would do anything for a job? Striking at a time like this? That’s just poor taste.
On Friday, two suicide bombers exploded themselves in the midst of a Pakistani paramilitary training center, killing nearly 80. The Taliban claimed “responsibility” (as if this were the responsibility had anything to do with it), calling it retaliation for bin Laden’s death, which, of course, was executed by US Navy Seals. Now, Pakistan has more or less been a safe haven for the Taliban and al-Qaeda for some time and bin Laden’s been pretty well protected there for nearly a decade. So, for the Taliban to assault Pakistani territory like this just seems in poor taste.